[Grand Rapids, MI] —The demand for life sciences facilities is holding strong across the U.S. and is still well above where it was prior to the pandemic. The rise of these facilities has created a demand for another type of space: modular clean rooms.
Clean rooms are controlled environments that filter out pollutants like dust, airborne microbes and aerosol particles. Market Research Future this year reported the clean room technology market is projected to grow from $4.9B in 2022 to $6.9B by 2030.
These spaces can be crucial to the success of life sciences facilities, and they need to be built quickly and efficiently by firms that understand their importance.
Angstrom Technology began designing and selling clean rooms in Michigan in 1989. Today, the company installs and distributes clean rooms to facilities around the globe. Owner and CEO Matt Isard said he believes the most effective way to quickly install clean rooms that are flexible and compliant with today’s rapidly changing life sciences companies is to embrace modular construction.
“Modular rooms give the customer the versatility to add, subtract and relocate as your needs change, with minimal disruption to your process,” Isard said. “Additionally, the overall cost of a modular structure is lower than that of a conventional building, and it cuts construction and installation time down significantly.”
Angstrom Technology has launched a life sciences division, ATLSD, focused on delivering modern systems, products and services for clean rooms and humidity-controlled dry rooms in the life sciences sector. Bisnow sat down with Isard and President Jennifer Biro to learn more about the benefits of modular clean rooms and the company’s plans for its new division.
Bisnow: What are some of the main benefits of choosing to use modular clean rooms?
Isard: The benefits can be broken down into five main categories: time, cleanliness, cost, tax deductions and versatility. Modular construction takes less time than other build processes, allowing a room to be up and running faster. They are also cleaner because there is less cutting, drilling and other work getting done on-site that can add dust and other contaminants to the air.
Additionally, all the design, engineering and manufacturing work for a modular clean room falls under one bill to keep expenses low. On top of those cost savings, a modular system is considered capital equipment and can be depreciated quicker — at around seven years — compared to traditional real estate that depreciates at 39 years.
Finally, as the life sciences sector changes and grows from contract development manufacturing organizations to cell, gene, mRNA and more, clients need the highest level of service, optionality, compliance expertise, quality and safety protocols. Modular construction allows for greater flexibility with minimal disruption to a facility’s workflow, ensuring schedule and costs are kept in line.
Our president, Jennifer Biro, has decades of experience with the most technical of projects. She is a real asset to head up this division.
Bisnow: Can you tell me more about Angstrom Technology and your level of experience with these projects?
Isard: Angstrom Technology brings 34 years of experience as a turnkey provider of clean rooms, dry rooms and cold rooms to every project. Our technical team serves a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, healthcare, medical device, automotive, aerospace/defense, microelectronics, injection molding, food and beverage, EV dry room, current good manufacturing process, cell and gene therapy, and veterinary science.
We execute successful and compliant projects for clients both nationally and globally. We have offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Irvine, California; and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. We also have offices in the UK, including York, Lancaster, High Wycombe and Newcastle and serve clients throughout North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Singapore.
Bisnow: What changes have you noticed in customer expectations or priorities in the years since Angstrom was founded?
Isard: Customers in the clean room industry are increasingly seeking turnkey services from collaborative providers who can manage the entire project, from design to implementation to validation.
While many of our clients are well-versed in clean rooms, we make the entire process relatable by offering practical, solution-based approaches that align with stakeholders’ needs. We also recognize that different industries may require different technical approaches and need options in system choices, so we have in-house technical experts to specifically address compliance, ISO levels, GMP and cGMP, or current good manufacturing practices. They can also address cell and gene therapy, contract development and manufacturing organization, dry rooms and environmentally controlled rooms.
Bisnow: Could you tell us more about Angstrom’s life sciences division and how you are addressing this trend?
Isard: ATLSD is a specialized division that focuses on cutting-edge systems, products and services for clean rooms, dry rooms and all temperature or environmentally controlled rooms. Being able to offer clients a multitude of options for their project needs and requirements is a real differentiator for this division. We have the most choices at every price point and every necessity required. We believe that providing clients with striated solutions, estimates and schedules they can trust with the utmost integrity is something to be proud of.
We promote a collaborative client experience by tailoring solutions to individual client needs rather than being constrained by specific product offerings. We maintain objectivity by not producing our own panels, allowing for a truly cooperative and unbiased approach.
Biro: We offer a wide range of systems and products that are not tied to a single manufacturer. This approach allows for flexibility and customization to meet specific client needs.
To disrupt the industry and bring new innovation, I am heading up the Cleanroom Design Center of America. The CDCA is a cutting-edge facility dedicated to clean room, dry room and cold room technologies and products.
A 10K SF showroom will bring a unique experience missing in the current marketplace. It is supported by Angstrom Technology, Colliers and Budd Bioworks, Philadelphia, creating a strong network of expertise and resources.
Angstrom’s clients can have a tangible experience to understand which specific products and ancillary items can be used for their particular projects. The ability to pick and choose while observing the distinctions enables clients to confirm they are making informed decisions and offers flexibility without prejudice to ensure the best customer experience and product choices available.
Bisnow: What is Angstrom’s capability regarding global sourcing?
Isard: We are both a national and global company, with the capability to source materials and provide design-assist, installation, commissioning and validation services worldwide. This ensures that projects are executed safely, with high-quality standards and in full compliance with industry requirements.
This article was produced in collaboration between Angstrom Technology and Studio B.